The month in review: South West WA
By Herron Todd White
Unit development in the south west is limited in comparison to the state’s capital. The population density throughout the south west region is relatively low as many of the residents have left the busy capital to pursue a lifestyle that involves a back yard and a slower pace.
The vast majority of dwellings are larger green titled properties as the constraints that evolve a region into higher density living do not particularly apply. The only public transport network offered in the region is a bus route and as such demand to increase the density around train stations and other public transport infrastructure is not applicable.
The CBD infrastructure in the south west towns is also limited and as such demand to increase density around CBD hubs is minimal. Any demand (albeit limited) comes from the ageing south west population and as such we have seen an increase in single level unit development close to the CBD hubs of Busselton, Dunsborough and Bunbury. This demand has been met in recent years as these small scale subdivisions have, once again, became profitable for developers in the current market climate. Such units can be purchased from between $300,000 and $500,000. That being said, the development of multi level apartments is in general not feasible and is usually met with strong resistance from the majority of the population.
The tourism industry has provided a catalyst for strata development in the south west. In particular the coastal localities of Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Margaret River and Augusta all have a considerable number of tourist units. These developments generally consist of single or two level unit or townhouse designs, ranging from 10 to 50 dwellings in each complex, although there are a number of resorts such as Abbey Beach Resort and Sea Shells that offer multi level apartment living on the beach. Values for these units range from $100,000 to $300,000 with some executive short stay properties reaching up to $1 million.
All in all unit development in the south west is limited and will continue to stay that way for the near future until the region is supplemented with a significant CBD hub and good transport infrastructure.